Abu Dhabi fund loses out in bid to take over Mumbai airport

GVK Group goes ahead with rival Adani deal to acquire the prestigious Mumbai International Airport

The consortium of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has lost its bid to acquire the prestigious Mumbai International Airport (MIAL).

India’s rising business conglomerate Adani Group and GVK Group, the promoter of MIAL, announced on Monday a deal on the takeover of the aviation hub.

The GVK Group also said it has notified the ADIA consortium about termination of its agreement for acquiring a majority stake in the airport holding company.

ADIA, in consortium with India’s NIIF (National Infrastructure Investment Fund) and Canada’s PSP (Public Sector Pension) Investments, had entered into an agreement with the GVK Group last April to acquire 79 percent stake in GVK Airport Holdings for $964 million.

The agreement between ADIA consortium and the GVK Group’s airport holding company had ‘deal exclusivity’ until January 31, 2021.

ADIA declined to comment when approached by Arabian Business.

The GVK group went ahead with its takeover deal negotiations with the Adani Group despite the ADIA consortium reportedly flagging India’s Prime Minister’s Office about its existing agreement with the promoter group of the Mumbai airport.

It had sought a fair and transparent resolution to the takeover tussle from the Indian government authorities.

The ADIA consortium also reportedly sent a legal notice last week to the GVK Group and the lenders to the Mumbai airport company, stating that takeover of the airport by a third party will be a breach of GVK’s contract with them.

The Adani Group, in a regulatory filing on Monday, said Adani Airport Holdings Limited, its airports arm, has entered into an agreement to acquire the debt of GVK Airport Developers Limited (GVK ADL), the entity through which GVK Group holds 50.50 equity stake in MIAL.

“Upon the acquisition of the debt of GVK ADL, Adani Group will take steps to obtain necessary customary and regulatory approvals, as may be required, to acquire controlling interest in MIAL,” the company said.

The Ahmedabad-based Group also said it would soon complete the acquisition of 23.5 percent stake of the two South African companies in MIAL (hyphen) ACSA (Airports Company South Africa) and Bidvest, for which it has already obtained nod from India’s competition watchdog, CCI.

The acquisition of MIAL will also help Adani Group to take control of the newly coming up Navi Mumbai International Airport, as the former holds 74 percent stake in it.

With the acquisition of MIAL, Adani Group will emerge as the lead player in India’s airport sector. The group has already bagged six airports from the government-owned Airport Authority of India (AAI) on a 50 year lease.

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